We recently switched from Church Community Builder to Connection Power for our Church Management system. We probably should have researched Fellowship One a little more, but for our budget (or lack thereof), Connection Power was the clear choice. We were getting serious complaints from our Admin Team about the quirkiness and bad graphic interface of CCB, so we started looking at other options. Long story short, we landed on Connection Power and we were pretty excited about switching over. Here’s a couple stories that might help you in your decision to start using or switching Church Management Software.
1. It has a very large impact on Staff. It sounds like a simple thing – just transfer some data and boom – you’re good to go. But in reality with our church size of 500+ (about 1200 in our database), we really should have planned better for the switchover. I’m thinking that we should have budgeted about 4-6 weeks of staff time to really learn the software and implement it into how they administrate their ministries and groups. CMS is great for getting true data, stats, and quick communication – but only if it is setup correctly, which takes time to learn and to do. So think about that and plan time for your staff to handle the learning curve – or else they won’t buy into it and it will be a wasted resource.
2. (click on images for full size) I’m not happy at all with Connection Power’s online giving interface. It’s very complex, and that’s good for data collection, but horrible for the user.
When we had CCB, they required only that we have our own merchant account and then they created a page for us that looked like this:
It was simple and easy to complete – very comprehensive.
When we switched over to Connection Power, we realized that their Online Giving functionality is much more complex. But the interface is downright frustrating – especially if you are not internet/computer savvy. It’s really hard to navigate – you have to really look for what you want. Here’s an example: But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that using Connection Power’s giving module, you actually have to be a “member” of the online community and have been “invited”. Well, that doesn’t work for us – we want that giving page to be as easy as possible to navigate, and as easy as possible to enter your info and click “give”. So thumbs down to Connection Power for that one.
We are planning on creating our own online giving page that is attached directly to our merchant account. I called their tech support and complained and they were very gracious and welcomed my feedback. Kudos.